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This year marks the 40th anniversary of the debut of “GeGeGe no Kitaro,” an animated children’s TV series about the supernatural that’s become a Japanese institution.

Its status as an institution is not necessarily due to its longevity. In fact, the program, which can now be seen on Fuji TV every Sunday morning, has not been broadcast continuously since 1968. The first season lasted through 1969, the second from ’71 to ’72, the third ’85 to ’88, and the fourth ’96 to ’98. The current season began last year.

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